In Love with February (It's Complicated)

Yes, I know I’m on record as not being fond of cold weather . But I’m also on record as loving chocolate. So I always approach February with decidedly mixed feelings. There’s lots to do on the Trails of History, although some sites are still closed for the winter. Be sure to check ahead before venturing out into the weather. Most sites will be closed on Feb. 21 for Presidents Day, but Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum will be open.

PHMC/Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
photo by Cindy Reedy

Now through March 18: The museum is currently closed to the public while a major HVAC project is underway. If you’re on Facebook, you can keep up with the project and the museum’s upcoming activities here.

Feb. 19: Lecture, Indian Riflemen in the French and Indian War—Alan Gutchess, director of Fort Pitt Museum, will be the featured speaker. Admission charged (free to members of Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society).

Feb. 26: Workshop, 18th-Century Journal Making—Alan Hackenberg will demonstrate how to make a soft-cover and a hard-cover book; participants will start their own project to take home. Class size is limited; registration form is here.

Feb. 8: Lecture, Robert Coleman—Dr. Frank K. Bergman will speak about Robert Coleman, one of the owners of the Cornwall Iron Furnace in the 19th century. Part of the Friends of Cornwall Iron Furnace Lecture Series.

PHMC/Daniel Boone Homestead (Wayside Lodge)

Daniel Boone Homestead
Feb. 6: Program, Black History Program—this year’s event features local historian Noah Lewis, who will interpret the experiences of Edward “Ned” Hector in the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown. Independence National Historical Park historian Coxey Toogood will also be on hand to recount the story of Oney Judge, one of President Washington’s slaves who escaped while residing in Philadelphia. Craft demonstrations and activities will round out the day. Included in regular admission.
Feb. 13 (also March 6): Program, Fireside Tales—children and their families can enjoy traditional storytelling in the Wayside Lodge about Pennsylvania German and English life in the 18th-century Oley Valley. This free program (donations welcome) includes light refreshments; wear warm clothes and bring a cozy blanket.

Ephrata Cloister

Starts Feb. 3 and continues every Thursday through April 7: Program, Winter History Class—this popular annual program offers an in-depth look at subjects related to the museum; this year the focus is daily life, land issues, and photographic documentation of the site over the years. Tuition is charged to defray program costs (members of Ephrata Cloister Associates receive a discount). Contact the site at 717/733-6600 to register.
Feb. 15: Ephrata Cloister Chorus Auditions—auditions are open for all vocal parts; you must call ahead to schedule your audition time. For more info, go here.

Erie Maritime Museum and US Brig Niagara
Feb. 17: Program, Women of the Tall Ship Unicorn—six local women will recount their experiences aboard Unicorn, which participated in Tall Ships Erie 2010. Presented by The Women’s Roundtable.
Through March 26: Exhibit, First Impressions—exhibit of photographs of Tall Ships Erie 2010 taken by students from Erie’s Inner-City Neighborhood Art House (a public reception will be held Sunday, Jan. 30 to mark the opening of the exhibit).

Graeme Park
Feb. 12: Special event, A Colonial Valentine—learn about Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson’s loves and losses through scenes played out in the Keith House. Reservations required.
Feb. 13: Special event, Valentine’s Day Around the World—kids will learn about various Valentine’s Day traditions and make a craft to take home. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
Feb. 12 and 14: Special event, A Victorian Valentine Dinner—select either Saturday night or Monday night for a delicious, romantic dinner in a historical setting (here’s the menu); call 717/581-0591 for reservations
Feb. 16 (and every Wednesday through March 23): Program, Homeschool Classes—classes run Wednesday mornings for 6 weeks; each week has a different theme. Discounts for Landis Valley Associates members. Registration is required; call 569-0401 x 228.
Feb. 18-20: Program, Winter Institute—ward off winter’s chill with a variety of craft classes; 1, 2, and 3-day options available (see descriptions here and/or download registration form here).
Feb. 26: Workshop, Heirloom Seed Project and Backyard Fruit Growers (BYFG)—beginners and more experienced gardeners will find something to suit (list of offerings here); register by Feb. 18 and save $5.

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Feb. 23: Lecture, America’s First Anti-war Movement and Why it Mattered—Prof. Amy Greenberg, Penn State University, will explore the development of anti-war sentiment during the US-Mexico War of 1846. Part of the Friends of the Military Museum’s monthly lecture series.

Somerset Historical Center
Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24: Workshop, Learn to Spin Wool—learn the basics (hands-on) of how fleece becomes wool thread; there might also be opportunities to demonstrate what you’ve learned. Advance registration required.
Feb. 5: Workshop, Historical Valentine Workshop—make a puzzle purse valentine. Advance registration required.

Washington Crossing Historic Park
Feb. 19: Special event, George Washington’s 279th Birthday Party—craft demonstrations, open hearth cooking, a close look at the Durham Boats, a scavenger hunt for the kids, AND birthday cake!


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